There are so many things to read on the internet that we need some sites and tools that read them all then hand pick the most interesting sites so we don't have to.
Be it a boredom surfing tip for when you're idling, or a way to satisfy an insatiable curiosity for interesting, weird, funny or informative links, here are some links to bookmark — and feeds to add to your subscription list.
Social bookmarking sites
These sites show, in real time, what pages users are bookmarking. Of course, this comes with tags.
Even better now that you can filter fresh links only
- Furl Popular
Very similar to del.icio.us
- Blogmarks Popular
Yet another del.icio.us clone, with a graphical touch and cute tiny screenshots of bookmarked pages
User driven "approval" sites
Where people don't really bookmark pages, but vote for them if they think it's worth it.
Provides numerous feeds for popular stories and links, by age and topics. Fear your bandwidth bill if your site is dugg.
Very similar, with more topics while Digg focuses mainly on geek and technological stuff.
Automated selection tools
Some tools produce interestingness rankings, not from users vote, but from their writing on their own blogs (and mostly from the frequency of links that get blogged). This is a pretty good populariy indicator, but you mostly cannot filter results by topic.
- Bloglines Toplinks
The famous web-based aggregator computes a daily list of links that are mentionned in blogs.
- Blogpulse Analysis
Blogpulse generates several daily rankings : blog, blog posts, links.
This one gives few explanations about the technology used to pick links, but this is probably something very similar to counting links in blog posts
To be honest I don't like this site (and my eyes go "ouch" when I try to read the page) but for the sake of relevance I have to include it. Technology in background is rather secret here too.
Here two sites that belong to more than one category, since they aggregate popular links from various sites :
Digests digg + slashdot + del.icio.us popular links into one single list.
- Daily Mashup
Gathers noteworthy links, and images, from various sources including Flickr
To end this article, I'd like to mention a site I really like for its unique concept of content personalization. This site won't tell you what people like, but will select instead what you will like : Findory.
Give Findory a collection of feeds (via an OPML file exported from your feed reader) or tell it what sites you like within its own interface, and it will be able to select related articles.
This content personalization seems to go much further than only search for tags or keywords within blog posts, and is very efficient in a way that it can select a particular post that you will like from a site that you would probably won't be interested in. Forget RSS feeds you subscribed because their authors write good stuff once in a year, and let Findory find this good stuff for you.
My Findory tip would be : give it a list of sites that match a single theme. I've had better results with a couple dozens of site focusing more or less on the same topic than with a hundred sites dealing with 4 or 5.
(I can't conclude this praise to Findory without thanking Nathan from Inside Google, a blogger who is using a lot Findory and from whom I discovered this really neat tool.)
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